Help Pack the Back Dec. 1

By Cecilia Nasmith

For so many events throughout a year in Northumberland County, the unobtrusive presence of St. John Ambulance Medical First Responder volunteers adds reassurance that help is on hand if needed.

Another kind of help is needed for county residents through the holiday season, and St. John Ambulance volunteers have teamed up with Northumberland Paramedics to help with that too.

On Dec. 1, a combined three ambulances will be parked at two Cobourg locations, and organizers hope you'll take a pause in your holiday-shopping round to support their Pack The Back campaign – and fill the backs of all three vehicles with food items and unwrapped toys that the Salvation Army will be needing to pack the Christmas hampers that make the holidays brighter for local families in need.

St. John Ambulances will be parked at two Cobourg locations – David's No Frills and Canadian Tire – and a Northumberland Paramedics will join the effort with an ambulance of their own at the No Frills.

St. John branch administrator Amy Turcotte is proud of the Medical First Responders volunteers you will meet at these events, the trained, uniformed volunteers who stand ready to provide basic and advanced first aid when emergencies occur.

“The volunteers provide first-response casualty care necessary to save a life, prevent further injury or provide comfort until emergency medical assistance arrives,” Turcotte said.

As of mid-November, she added, 2018 figures show they have attended 78 events and provided more than 2,700 hours of service.

Northumberland Paramedics superintendent Marcelle Johnson said they were really excited to make it a partnership effort.

“It's a collaborative, supportive relationship,” added deputy chief Susan Brown, and it could make a big difference to many families.

Turcotte said she hopes it can become an annual effort.

On Dec. 1, the ambulances will be stationed at David's No Frills and Canadian Tire from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to receive your contributions for the Salvation Army.

If you are unable to help Pack the Back of the ambulances, Turcotte said, you can drop your Pack the Back donations at the St. John Ambulance office (located in Building 19 at 700 D'Arcy St., Cobourg) by Dec. 7.